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Yucatan Peninsula gets rare glimpse of Northern Lights during largest solar storm in decades

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Northern lights were seen across part of the Yucatan Peninsula Friday night as the result of a solar storm. The rare display of pinks and purples dazzled the sky for viewers in northern areas of Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

The solar flares, which have been referred to as the biggest geomagnetic storm in two decades by the Space Weather Prediction Center of the NOAA, were seen across many parts of Latin America, including many areas of Mexico.

According to Protección Civil Baja California (Baja California Civil Protection), the northern lights were expected to be viewable along the northern horizon on the night of May 10 and into the early morning of May 11.

Protección Civil Baja California explained where the lights would be seen. May 10, 2024.

“Civil Protection of Baja California reports that according to information from the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is likely that during the night of Friday the 10th and early morning of Saturday, May 11th, there will be northern lights in Baja California.

The northern lights seen dancing above the Yucatan Peninsula May 10, 2024.

“This natural lighting phenomenon, rarely visible in the region, will not be as intense. It does not represent any danger and will be viewable on the horizon to the north in places with little light pollution.

Residents in the state of Campeche also captured a rare glimpse of the northern lights Friday. Photo: May 10, 2024.

“In some cases it could generate slight and temporary interference in telecommunications systems,” the state agency reported.

The northern light display extended all the way to the east where people in Holbox also witnessed the rare sighting of aurora borealis. The northern lights were also seen in Chihuahua, Zacatecas and in the state of Sonora.

A Holbox fishermen captured the lights above nets and fishing vessels on the night of May 10.

According to a post by the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center on May 11, another series of lights could be visible May 12.

“Another series of CMEs associated with flare activity from Region 3664 over the past several days are expected to merge and arrive at Earth by midday (UTC) on 12 May. Periods of G4-G5 (Severe-Extreme) geomagnetic storms are likely to follow the arrival of these CMEs.”